BURNIE GIRLS ARE CHAMPS

Top-flight foot­ball looms for un­beaten side

West Lothian Courier - - The Back Page - Cal­lum Car­son

Black­burn United Ladies sealed the SWFL Divi­sion Two Cen­tral ti­tle in style as they ended the sea­son un­beaten.

Kirst Frew’s early strike at home to Mother­well De­vel­op­ment was enough to grab the vic­tory – their 21st in 22 league games as they fin­ished the cam­paign three points ahead of Air­drie.

The vic­tory not only en­sured pro­mo­tion to Divi­sion One for the 2018 sea­son but com­pleted a league and cup dou­ble with the Burnie hav­ing clinched the Divi­sion Two League Cup ear­lier in the sea­son with a dra­matic ex­tra-time tri­umph over Bay­side.

It ended a stun­ning sea­son for the New Mur­ray­field Park out­fit whose only dropped points came in a 1-1 draw with Air­drie in Au­gust.

Head coach Con­nor McCloskey was full of pride for his play­ers and is al­ready set­ting his sights on a suc­cess­ful cam­paign in Divi­sion One next year.

He said: “The team have had a mag­nif­i­cent 2017 sea­son man­ag­ing to go un­beaten in the league and also win­ning the League Cup as well.

“We set our­selves four goals at the start of the year and have man­aged to hit all four.

“We had some tricky ties and were pushed all the way by a very good Air­drie side.

“They were con­stantly only three points be­hind us and that re­ally drove us for­ward know­ing we had to con­tinue fight­ing and win­ning ev­ery week.

“I have been coach­ing for 11 years and this is the best squad I have worked with, not only in terms of abil­ity, they gave me ev­ery­thing in ev­ery game and they all hate to lose which is a great trait to have.

“We have started our re­cruit­ment process al­ready and are iden­ti­fy­ing tar­gets for 2018 and we’ll be work­ing flat out to get the best squad pos­si­ble for the start of the 2018 sea­son.

“Yes, we’ll be the new team in a very tough league but we’ll con­tinue as we have been and give it ev­ery­thing we’ve got in ev­ery game.”

Three other West Loth­ian sides com­peted in Divi­sion Two Cen­tral this term with debu­tants Lin­lith­gow Rose show­ing great form in the sec­ond half of the sea­son to fin­ish in fifth place.

They ended the year with a 9-2 vic­tory away at Haw­ick United.

Mean­while, Murieston United, re­turn­ing to the se­nior ranks, and Brox­burn Ath­letic Colts end­ing the cam­paign in eighth and ninth spots re­spec­tively.

Party time Black­burn United Ladies cel­e­brate their ti­tle tri­umph

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